Local Government:
Leisure Service Review

In response to reductions in funding from central government, this Metropolitan Borough Council embarked on an ambitious transformation programme to deliver major changes in the way its services were designed and delivered to secure £25million of savings from its annual budget. With resources required to protect front line services, initial focus was directed to non-statutory services, such as leisure to identify potential quick wins.

The Culture & Leisure Service were responsible for the management of three leisure centres and swimming pools, an Athletics Stadium and delivery of a wide range of the sports development activities. The Client required an independent review of the existing Leisure Services operation to develop options to identify a future operating model to substantially reduce or eliminate a £1.7M annual subsidy in support of the wider transformational cost savings programme.

CMI were engaged by Ameo Professional Services to act as the lead consultant as part of a small multi-disciplinary team to undertake a detailed review of the existing leisure service.  The approach was to develop and financially model a range of options to identify future operating models which would maximise income from facilities to reduce the annual subsidy.

CMI worked closely with Council stakeholders and leisure staff to prepare a comprehensive baseline analysis of the existing leisure operations by which all future operating models could be accurately compared. A package of options was then identified and reviewed with input from regional partners and UK sports bodies to ensure that local and regional strategies were considered.

The review culminated in the production of a detail report outlining three politically and financially viable options underpinned by robust financial analysis and implementation timescales. A recommendation was given to a preferred option which delivered an operational surplus and had the potential to substantially reduce the annual subsidy depending on the funding arrangements adopted by the Council.


Ben Ward (Ameo Professional Services) said,

‘CMI used a robust and methodical approach which led to the development of three viable options and gave the client the opportunity to deliver an operational surplus in which to tackle their annual subsidy’.

Skills Used


Business Analyst



Report Authoring

Stakeholder Management